It can be found as far south as South Africa, as far east as Kenya, as far west as Namibia and as far north as Kenya and Congo. It breeds in Zimbabwe. This species, like other bee-eaters, is a richly coloured and very striking bird with a mainly bright red body but with the crown and undertail of blue. Its usual habitat includs river valleys and floodplains, preferring vertical banks suitable for tunneling when breeding. They lay their eggs in a long tunnel burrowed into the mud of the riverbank.
This is a highly sociable species and when they gather together in large flocks it makes for an awesome spectacle which is not just confined to breeding season. They roost communally in trees or reedbeds, and disperse widely during the day.
Africa is a fantastic place for birdwatchers - please see our Blog for more details.